On the web format of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and it’s importance.
In 2012 Hank Green and Bernie Su did something no one has ever done. They did Pride and Prejudice Lonelygirl15 style. On April 9th 2012, Ashley Clements made her Lizzie Bennet Diaries debut as the title character. She rants about her mother and father and sisters and chats about all sorts of topics. Nearly all the characters have (and used) twitter and none of them were self aware. (or all of them, I guess, most of them did promote their videos after all.) Since TLBD Literary Inspired Webseries (LIWs) have progressed to the characters have instagram and other social media as well, all improving our immersion in the story. To be thorough I’d have to say something on every single LIW. but that’s going to be time consuming, so instead, I’m going to talk about some of my favourites and why they are important.
- The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, which is important because it not only sparked a new sub genre, but also in the way it humanises Lydia. Let’s be real here. Book!Lydia and Film!Lydia aren’t nice people. They’re stuck up and rude and vapid. TLBD!Lydia starts off the same way, but through the telling of the story (and the skill of the writers – I’m looking at you Kate Rorick) Lydia is humanised and becomes many people’s favourite characters. She could possibly be mine, although whether that’s the character or my love of the actress, Mary-Kate Wiles is anyone’s guess. We care about what Wickham’s done, and what he’s done to her has a bigger impact. He betrays her trust and manipulates her and we see that. Lydia becomes more than what she was. Her character develops and we see that. It reminds us that even though someone could seem terrible, that’s not the end of them, and it certainly doesn’t mean they deserve badness.
- Green Gables Fables is important because of the way we can understand ourselves in specific uploads. SPOILERS AHEAD FOR S2. So Gilbert tells Anne he loves her and she rejects him, thinking that he was only her friend because he wanted to date her. Nothing particularly special about that I know, but she uploads it and puts it on YouTube. If your best friend just told you they loved you and you turned them down, would you stick it up for your large following to see? I know I wouldn’t. So why did Anne? Barring plot bunnies of course I have this theory: Anne thinks that Gil never wanted to be her friend in the first place and is angry with him. She’s furious and she doesn’t have time to film a new video. She figures she’s uploaded personal footage before, with Video_42 (Matthew dies – not on camera or anything), and she uploads it a little to get back at him. After all, he wanted the camera on. He wanted to film it, he should live with the results. Sometimes it’s hard to understand other people’s actions towards us, but Green Gables Fables reminds us that it’s not always as about us as we think.
- Jules and Monty, I really love this because I’m a sap (episode 9 everyone!!) but also they didn’t end up doing what they could have done with the personal nature of the whole thing and had Jules and Monty end up together. SPOILER ALERT: They don’t. Monty just misses her, and as Imogen and Ed (creators) have said, they probably wouldn’t get back together if they met again a few years later. (I seem to remember them saying that anyway) It reminds us that not all stories have happy endings and not everything in real life does either. And that’s okay. That doesn’t mean the series is terrible. that doesn’t mean the characters regret everything. It’s that thing: don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.
I could go on and on about this forever. And these aren’t by far my only favourites. They will all be linked below. But LIWs are important because they remind us about ourselves. They tell us to be kind and to care. You are your own protagonist, but everyone else is too.
Get Reading. Get Travelling.